Special collection for national, international ministries set for May 20
CHARLOTTE — It doesn't take much, but any contribution you make for a second collection slated later this month will go towards some of the Church's most crucial national and international ministries: such as supporting the Church in the Holy Land, Catholic college scholarships, disaster assistance and emergency response, immigration legal aid and refugee support.
This second collection, which will be taken up in all parishes of the Diocese of Charlotte during Masses May 19-20, actually combines five collections in one: the Catholic Relief Services Collection, Collection for the Holy Land, Collection for the Works of the Holy Father, Catholic University of America Collection, and Catholic Communications Campaign. Called the International-National Combined Collection, funds raised through it go to support the following:
n Catholic Relief Services Collection: Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian organization of the U.S. Catholic Church. It provides assistance to people in 98 countries and territories based on need – not race, creed or nationality. The collection funds Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., providing a full range of legal and support services to Catholic programs directly representing poor immigrants, with a focus on reunification of families and protection of those fleeing persecution or civil unrest. It also funds Migration and Refugee Services, which annually resettles a quarter of the refugees admitted to the U.S. and provides advocacy and pastoral care; funds the Holy Father's Relief Fund, which assists victims of natural disasters and other emergencies; and funds the U.S. bishops' Justice, Peace and Human Development Department, which advocates for poor and vulnerable people and for international peace and justice; and funds the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, which supports a network of national pastoral centers and personnel who minister to various ethnic groups.
n Holy Land: The Collection for the Holy Land, in the words of Paul VI, is "not only for the Holy Places but above all for those pastoral, charitable, educational, and social works which the Church supports in the Holy Land for the welfare of their Christian brethren and of the local communities." More than 300 Franciscan priests and brothers together with 130 sisters from Franciscan and other religious communities serve all God's people in the Holy Land. Since 1342 these friars have been the official guardians of the Holy Places for the whole Church. They also staff a seminary in Jerusalem, the Holy Land delegation in Rome, and hundreds of shrines, basilicas, churches and parishes in the Holy Land; as well as schools and catechetical centers, homes for the aged, summer camps, medical dispensaries, orphanages, and special housing projects for the poor.
n Collection for the Works of the Holy Father (formerly called Peter's Pence): The Peter's Pence Collection unites us in solidarity to the Holy See and its works of charity to those in need. Your generosity allows the pope to respond to our suffering brothers and sisters with promptness, love and compassion, so God's people will not feel alone in their time of misfortune. Visit www.usccb.org/ppc for details.
n Catholic University of America: The Catholic University of America is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church. Located in Washington, D.C., it was founded in 1887 and offers students an excellent education in a faith-filled atmosphere grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition. The Collection for the Catholic University of America underwrites scholarships to assist financially deserving students in completing their education in more than 50 disciplines. Visit www.cua.edu for details.
n Catholic Communication Campaign: The Catholic Communication Campaign supports projects that use the entire array of media tools available today to evangelize and promote Gospel values. Half of the collection supports local communications efforts, and the other half supports the production of national media programming. Visit www.usccb.org/ccc for details.
In a letter shared with parishioners across the diocese this month, Monsignor Mauricio West, vicar general and chancellor of the diocese, writes, "'Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.' (Mark 16:15) These words, spoken by Jesus before his Ascension into Heaven, remind us that we are called to reach beyond the boundaries of our local parishes and missions to share the good news throughout the world. One way to put Jesus' words into action and participate in the mission of the universal Church is through contributions to those organizations that address diverse needs of countless people throughout the world. ... Your prayers and generosity to this combined collection do make a difference in the lives of others both here in our own diocese and throughout the world."
— Patricia L. Guilfoyle, editor
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